Your hands are one of the first signs of your true age. After the face, the hands are the first noticeable body part to show your life experience.
This is because skin on hands is extremely delicate, it gets thinner as you get older and becomes exposed to various environmental factors. Protecting your hands is therefore essential to maintaining a youthful look.
As a writer, I often use my hands and it’s for this reason that their appearance is fast becoming a concern of mine. I want to look after my hands now so they don’t give away my real age in the future.
The good news is that by adding a few simple techniques into your skincare routine that focus on the hands you can prevent many of the signs of premature aging and keep them looking youthful for many years to come…
1. Use a vitamin rich moisturizer
Add moisture into the skin with an all-natural ingredient like coconut oil.
A rich source of Vitamin E, this has various anti-aging benefits including proteins that can promote good skin cell health.
Take around 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and rub onto the back of hands every morning and evening for best results.
2. Use natural SPF sunscreen
Chemical sunscreens may penetrate the skin but they are also deeply absorbed into the body’s fat tissues where they can cause health issues.
Mineral based sunscreens have no such health effects and are a better option than chemical sunscreens as they create a physical barrier against both UVA rays that cause wrinkles and skin cancer and UVB rays that cause sunburn.
You can create your own mineral based sunscreen using natural oils such as coconut, almond or carrot seed oil (naturally containing SPF) and blending with beeswax, shea butter and zinc oxide.
3. Exfoliate using a lemon juice, sugar and milk treatment
First, place hands in warm water with a tablespoon of baking soda for 10-15 minutes to soften.
Combine the juice of half a lemon with a spoonful of sugar. Lemon acts as a powerful exfoliant to remove age spots, while sugar removes dirt and pigment, scrubbing away dead skin cells.
Follow this by soaking the hands in milk for 10 minutes to add rich moisture back into the skin. Milk gives skin antioxidants and fatty acids that diminish wrinkles. Finish by wearing cotton gloves at night to give warmth and moisture to your hands.
4. Wear gloves while cleaning
Over time cleaning products can cause serious damage and if left unprotected, this starts to show on hands.
Investing in latex gloves while doing the dishes is recommended to reduce exposure to hot water and chemical agents.
5. Keep your nails protected
Care and repair your nails by soaking them in a small bowl of warm olive oil for 15-30 minutes.
Warm olive oil contains saturated fats, omega-6s and omega-3’s that moisturize the nails and cuticles, while the heat speeds up the absorption.
Massage olive oil into the nails and cuticle in small and circular motions to ensure it’s fully absorbed, for best nail strength and health.
6. Fight wrinkles with banana pulp
Bananas are a rich source of Vitamin A that remove blemishes, Vitamin D to delay aging and Vitamin E to protect the skin from free radicals, preventing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Rich in potassium, bananas are also great for moisturizing and hydrating dry skin.
Mash half a banana to a pulp and apply to hands. Allow the banana pulp to dry completely before rinsing with warm water, followed by cold water.
7. Massage the acupressure points
By stimulating the relevant points with acupressure, it’s possible to boost circulation in the hand, relieve symptoms of dryness and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
The results aren’t instantaneous but improvements gradually show over time. A course of 10 acupressure treatments every 5-7 days is recommended for best results.
8. Use rice paste
Rice is also a good source of Vitamin E with excellent moisturizing properties.
Blend 2 tbsp rice powder with 1tsp rice milk and 2tbsp of rose water. Mix these ingredients to form a paste and apply to hands, massaging in a circular motion. Leave to dry. Rinse off the rice paste with lukewarm water. Dry and then moisturize hands for a smooth finish.
9. Use face cream to reduce aging spots
Face cream is rich in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E that can boost collagen in the skin.
Collagen gives skin its elasticity and youthful look. Massaging a dab of face cream onto the back of hands is a quick and easy way to reduce dryness and wrinkles.
10. Raise your hands above to improve bulging veins…
One simple tip to improve the appearance of bulging veins is to lift the hands above your head and shake the hands, along with each finger from side to side for a few moments.
Practising this simple technique can improve circulation and naturally prevent blood flow from coagulating in one place.
Blood flow can stagnate when hands are in the same position for too long, and the result is bulging veins, especially where skin is thinner and veins show more visibly.
This simple exercise increases blood flow to the hands and with regular daily practice can improve the appearance of bulging veins that can make hands look older than they are.
Find What Works For You
I personally noticed a big difference to the softness of my hands when I started following tip #4 and wearing gloves while using cleaning products. The olive oil treatment is also exceptional and vastly improved the quality and strength of my nails.
Following even just one of these natural techniques on a regular basis can start to protect your hands against the effects of premature aging, so it’s worth experimenting to see what works for your lifestyle.